Exactly one year ago today, we received official word that we had been matched for an adoption with a baby boy. With all the paperwork and such that is involved with the legal aspects of an adoption, we weren’t able to pick him up for a few weeks. However, I remember this day vividly, because it’s also my birthday.
Mixed in with the custody application and other documents we needed to sign was a copy of our son’s birth record from the hospital. And, on that birth record, were stamps of his two beautiful, tiny feet. I wept tears of joy as I held these first signs of life.
I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday present, or a better year.
Over the past 12 months, my book was published and (thanks to so many of you) became a bestseller, my son grew into a smiling, laughing, walking and wonderful boy, and my life has been blessed hundreds of times. Most recently, my brother became a father and I became an aunt to the best nephew in the universe (okay, I may be a wee bit biased on this evaluation). There were also struggles, disappointments, scares, and hardships, but thankfully these are fewer in number and weight than the positives. Saying farewell to this past year is actually difficult — it’s hard for me to imagine a more amazing year.
However, time keeps marching forward and I’ll eagerly march along with it. I’m excited to see and experience all the wonderful things this new year will bring.
I’m not going to rest on my laurels, either. I’m a firm believer that for good things to happen, you have to make room and create the opportunity for these events. I need to continue to keep clutter out of my schedule, but I also need to do a little planning.
I’ve created a list of “40 Things To Do Before I’m 40.” I got the idea to make a goal list like this from an Unclutterer reader. Since I’m close to 40, this number worked well for me. If you’re close to 52, create a list of 52 — close to 25, go for 25.
Taking the time to create a list like this and work on checking off the items is a great way to stay focused on what matters most to you. My family and friends are the most important priorities in my life, so most of my list revolves around experiences with them. What matters to you? What do you want to achieve? Do some soul searching and organize a list like this with an achieve-by-date. Simply making the list can help you to focus on what should occupy your time and what is actually clutter. When your designated birthday arrives, you can review your list and remember all the good things you experienced getting to that date.